The most important skills for working remotely according to hiring managers

What hiring managers are looking for has changed. Prove you have these skills for working remotely to advance your career.

Remote work has changed the way companies function, and things will continue to change for the foreseeable future as we all settle into this new reality. Shifting the workforce into home offices has also changed the hiring process. Among these changes: employers are now looking for new skills that demonstrate a job candidate’s ability to work remotely and autonomously.

To learn what it takes to succeed in today’s new virtual work environment, AME info conducted a survey of 1,006 people who are currently working remotely, including 206 hiring managers whose experience included hiring remote workers.

The survey asked hiring managers what skills they felt were necessary for a successful remote career. Most hiring managers (63%) reportedly listed the ability to work remotely as a skill all its own. Other skills for working remotely, listed in order of importance, were:

Time management – 77.2%
Working well independently – 61.2%
Self-motivation – 44.2%
Organization – 44.2%
Self-sufficiency – 41.7%
Technology literacy – 34%
Interpersonal skills – 32%
Proactive communications – 28.2%
Managing expectations – 24.8%
Proactiveness – 19.4%
Consistent communication – 18.9%

Job candidates should find ways to demonstrate these skills in their resumes and cover letters. Look at your career accomplishments and ask yourself which ones are related. The job interview is another opportunity. For example:

  • Time management – don’t reschedule your interview and show up on time.
  • Working well independently, self-motivation – research the company and role and show up knowing your stuff.
  • Communication skills – plan your answers and your stories beforehand, be personable and friendly to everyone in the interview, ask relevant and well-planned questions.
  • Technology literacy – Send documents in the exact required format, and whatever platform the company is using the for the interview, figure out how to use it beforehand if you don’t already know. Don’t make anyone explain things to you or have to ask twice.
  • Managing expectations – be clear about your current work situation and, if you are currently employed in a position you will have to leave, set a clear timeline for what you would have to do to leave that job.
  • Proactiveness – Clearly state how and why you will succeed in the position and bring value to the company. At the end of the interview, state your interest in the position. And follow up with a thank-you note afterwards.

We would all be smart to start thinking about ways to develop and demonstrate these skills if we will be in a position to work remotely. It will help ensure we don’t get left behind.

Help wanted: Majority of Canadian small businesses say they’re hiring

Six tips on how to successfully close a job interview